Bennett bests Putnam in Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour stop

Keith Bennett, who won three out of the six Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour stops he entered in 2009, including two in a row in April and May, opened his 2010 campaign with a victory on the weekend of January 9-10. The $1,000-added event drew 16 entrants to On The Snap Billiards in Fuquay Varina, NC.

Bennett had to come back from the one-loss side to complete his first win on the 2010 tour. After sending Sam Monday west 7-3, from among the winners' side final four, Bennett met up with Shawn Putnam, who'd delivered B.J. Ussery to the one-loss side with a 7-2 win. Putnam, who won the prelude to last October's Carolina Open, and then defeated Larry Nevel in the finals of the One-Pocket event of the Open itself, prevailed in the hot seat match 7-4 and waited for Bennett's return.

Chris Vollmar, who'd been sent to the one-loss side by Bennett from among the winners' side final eight, advanced to meet Ussery, after defeating A.J. Monsma and Johnny Griffin, both 7-3. Sidney Champion, in the meantime, got by Arnold Hamlet in a hill-hill battle, and Brad Shearer 7-4 to meet up with Monday. Ussery chalked up a decisive 7-1 win over Vollmar, as Monday dropped Champion into the tie for fifth place 7-4. Monday got a second crack at Bennett with a 7-3 win over Ussery in the quarterfinals, but fell into third place on the heels of a second defeat by Bennett 7-5 in the semifinals.

Bennett opened the race-to-11 finals with a win, but after scratching on the subsequent break, allowed Putnam to go up 2-1. Bennett came right back, taking advantage of a 4-9 combo and then a 5-9 carom that put him up 3-2. Putnam tied it, but it proved to be his last rack, as Bennett went on a run and closed it out 11-3, allowing Putnam only eight chances at the table, and capitalizing on six break-and-run chances.

Bennett and Putnam had also locked cues in the Friday night Early Bird tournament, with the same result. Bennett downed Putnam in a hill-hill final on that night, earning him the $140 first place prize. Putnam took home the $80 second prize, with David Strum, finishing third ($40), among the field of 13 players. Chris Vollmar was the $70, first place winner in the five-entrant Second Chance tournament on Sunday, defeating Billy Wood 7-5 in the finals. Wood took home the $30, runner-up prize. Karen Webb was declared the tournament's Ladies winner, with Jordan Harrison picking up the Juniors' title. Johnny Griffin picked up $140 winning the break contest and A.J. Monsma won the event's raffle cue. There were no winners in the Break and Run contest, which moves the payout per ball in the next tour stop from $61 to $75.